What I Want From An Apple Tablet

As a geek blogger and frequent gadget early adopter, all sorts of folks have been asking me what’s coming from Apple today and how much I’m willing to spend. Like most outside Cupertino, I only have rumors to go by. Which we typically abstain from covering. Yet the last time we were engulfed by this sort of singularly focused crescendo, the iPhone was accurately predicted. Maybe not the precise details, but product type. So given the compelling “evidence,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal and McGraw Hill’s CEO, a computing tablet announcement today seems likely. But what I’m willing to pay is highly dependent on functionality, perceived value, and unfortunately… lust. A $600 color Kindle, as designed by Apple, probably wouldn’t move me. Yet a $1200 slate that does everything, including things I’ve yet to imagine, and does them well housed in a compelling package could very well separate me from my cash. Fortunately, and finally, all will be revealed in about five hours.

While it’s probably too late for Mr. Jobs to receive my requests, there are two things in particular I’d like to see from them (or someone else) in a tablet form factor. First, I’ve always loved magazines. Yet, I no longer love paper. I’m not too fond of Zinio either. So I’d really enjoy a well-done digital magazine storefront and reader, controlled via touch. Yes, I’m willing to pay. And perhaps a monthly ZNF digest would look nice reformatted for couch-based browsing.

The other thing I’d appreciate is some sort of stand or easel along with the ability to use a wireless (Bluetooth, or other) keyboard. Same as a frequent iPhone request of mine. Because, despite how clever the Apple tablet may be, I probably don’t need both a 10″ slate and 13″ Macbook. Even if the OS is locked down (think iPhone, non-multitasking apps), a keyboard will allow me to GTD – at home and on the road.

11 thoughts on “What I Want From An Apple Tablet”

  1. “I only have rumors to go by. Which we typically abstain from covering. ” – LOLZ What’s the point of a blog if you’re not going to speculate? The rumor posts are always my fav. Here’s kind of an evil idea that I was thinking about last night, what if they announce the tablet with this $30 a month “media” plan that they’ve been working on. Except instead of providing 17,000 titles like Netflix does, maybe it only includes 1,000 of the basic broadcast shows that you’ll find on Hulu anyway. Since Jobs knows that no one will pay that much for a limited lineup, they throw in a free music subscription service and some kind of textbook/newspaper/e-reader service that lets you download books for free. Since at best this service might still only be worth $15 a month, they then give away the tablet for free in exchange for a 3 year commitment at $30 a month. The net result is everyone says that Jobs is a genius and rushes out to lock into long term contracts, while Apple ends up charging over $1,000 for the tablet and provides funding for an entertainment membership program that will pay dividends in the future?

  2. iPad looks terrible, and the name is even worse…There is 0 advantage to it over a macbook. Apple just knows tons of ppl with no use for it at all will line up to order it. Thanks but no thanks apple.

  3. This is more evil than I thought. $15 – $30 a month without an entertainment package, just for “internet” access that runs through AT&T. What’s wrong with wifi on the laptop?

  4. $30 for Internet access as long as you don’t count Adobes Flash or MS Silverlight as part of the internet…Sorry but my cell phones/netbook can access more of the internet then your crappy iPad and they came out years ago for less money

  5. I guess tablet computing is a “bag of hurt” that Apple is willing to buy.

    The interesting thing (to me) is that if you take out itunes, this entire ecosystem can be replaced by a google (or MS) OS with an Amazon “app.” I know there are no color touchscreens like it now, but I’m willing to bet there are going to be a bunch in the very near future.

    Also, the “apple” A4 chip is interesting. I wonder what deal they tried to make with Intel. And I wonder what Intel is providing to other companies as competition.

    An hour after this presentation is over, I am thinking that Jobs pushed this out today to be the “first mover” in the field. I’ll bet there are a number of similar models in the pipeline, just ready to be announced.

    And, I’ll bet the other ones use either Google or MS OS’s. Maybe even the MS 7 Mobile OS.

  6. it sounds like the A4 is ARM based and is just a combination of a bunch of available modules, just like Nvidia did with their Tegra. (except the tegra graphics engine is all nvidia)

  7. @Dave,

    Completely agree on the whole magazine thing. I’m just as done with paper magazines and the space they eat up in my house, and recycling them and not having space to store back issues and … I just want a digital version! And I also don’t want to read PC Mag on Zinio anymore.

    Yes it has to be color, because even if the articles I want to read don’t need it (and for tech mags like Laptop you do need color anyway), the ads that are going to support the magazine’s continued existence do need color.

    Looks like Apple didn’t talk about that today. I’d say wait and see what happens. I think a lot of stuff will evolve over time.

  8. @Steve,

    I don’t get where all this anger is coming from. Maybe you need to think about that a bit. Nobody is forcing you to buy this thing. Maybe it WILL be a horrible flop.

    Also, you seem rather misinformed about most of the stuff you’re talking about. Go read some more tech blogs or something and get educated.

    1) “Take out iTunes and the entire ecosystem can be replaced by a google OS and an Amazon app.” So if you ignore its primary purpose (media consumption) then its comparable to a device that doesn’t exist yet on an OS that won’t ship for almost 12 months… OK.

    2) “The Apple A4 chip etc.” Its an ARM core. Just like the ARM core in the iPhone. Its running the same base OS. They probably NEVER considered an Intel chip. The power consumption of that Intel chip would be MUCH higher. And they still wouldn’t have a GPU that could handle full screen video etc, something they can do with the support logic they (Apple) built around the ARM core. Like h.264 decode acceleration for example.

    3) “Jobs pushed this out today to be first mover”. Umm you know they’ve been working on this for probably 10 years or more right? And Microsoft actually shipped tablet PCs many years ago (sure they failed, but hey). Its pretty obvious you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    4) “I’ll bet there are other similar models in the pipeline.” Well, HP has already been teasing theirs for a few weeks now, so wow, you’re so precient. And yes, some of the tablets that will fail (like ASUS) will be running off-the-shelf OS’s so that their vendors don’t have to write much/any software. And yes, Google and Microsoft (and Linux) are some examples of those OS’s. My bet is that a lot of vendors were biding their time and based on the pricing and capability of the iPad, they’ll be going back in their holes for a while. I’d bet in fact that HP will stop leaking their tablet videos for quite a while.

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